Water Management Systems in Australian Mines


Replies to a comprehensive questionnaire on mine water resource management systems (WRMS), which were distributed to a selection of Australian mining operations in 1991, are analysed. Although the replies cannot be considered fully representative of the industry, they do provide a good qualitative indication of water resource management in the industry at that time. Within Australia's largely arid land mass, a majority of mines normally need to conserve water, a few need to dispose of water and a number face a seasonally varying position. An assessment of the importance of WRMS compared with management of ore extraction and processing is given. A risk assessment of failure is given: there is more acceptance of WRMS failure in the Mine compared with the mill. An assessment is made of considerations in WRMS design. Managements are generally pro-active in the design of WRMS and in the setting of performance standards. The operational characteristics of mine systems are examined in detail. Companies generally do not appear to allocate sufficient resources for the collection of basic WRMS monitoring data and knowledge of the water budget to efficiently manage the system. This indicates scope for considerable cost savings in most mines.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Australia; Mine Water Resource Management Systems; Mines

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1995 Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1995

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